Rocky Boy's water now safe to drink 6-29-07

ROCKY BOY, Mont. (AP) - Residents of the Rocky Boy's Indian Reservation can now safely drink their tap water, more than a month after solvent mistaken for chlorine was added to a water supply.

Officials with the Environmental Protection Agency and the Chippewa Cree Tribe said Friday the problem is now fixed.

“The system's up and running now,” said Jim Morsette, with the tribe's Water Resources Department.

Residents had previously been told the water was safe to drink if they first boiled it. That restriction was lifted this week.

The water on the reservation had a noticeable fuel odor to it after the mix-up over chemicals. Some residents complained of stomachaches and nausea.

The accident occurred after a worker erroneously used the wrong chemical container for treating the water, Morsette said.

The tribe has taken steps to make sure it doesn't happen again, such as clearly labeling chemicals and keeping them in different places, he said.

Officials had been distributing bottled water over the past month paid for by the EPA.